This year Mike and I have had a goal to be one of the top 25 growers in the network marketing company we partner with.
Last year we had the same goal and we missed it by one spot. We were number 26. It simultaneously felt great to be that close (you know what they say: if you shoot for the moon, at least you’ll land amongst the stars) and crappy to miss the chance to be whisked away on an all-expenses-paid trip to the Dominican Republic.
So, we set the goal again this year. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
But here’s the thing: until very recently, I had been holding on so tightly to this goal that if it had been a little bird, I would have killed it by now.
The goal had claw marks in it. It couldn’t breathe because I’d been suffocating it with the intensity of my grip.
Suffice it to say, having this goal was not feeling good. It felt desperate, needy, icky, and pressured.
Thankfully, while I was having dinner the other night with Scott, one of the top earners in our company, I shared my goal to be in the Growth 25 and how it wasn’t feeling good. I also shared my action plan to achieve it: work my butt off and sacrifice everything for the next 10 weeks to make it happen.
In his adorable Texas drawl, Scott replied:
“You know, often times we think that in order to make more money we have to work harder. But that’s not always the case.”
Cut to me sitting next to him, a stunned expression on my face.
Do I not teach the power of choosing ease?
Do I not teach how the feminine energy of pleasure and enjoyment attracts to us what we want?
Do I not teach that there’s no inherent value in working more hours just for the sake of working?
Do I not teach that it’s not about working harder, but instead smarter?
Yet here I was with my death grip on a goal, ready to sacrifice enjoyment and well-being to grow my business.
Thank God for Scott and his simple wisdom.
It doesn’t always have to be so freaking hard.
Is there value in buckling down? Absolutely.
Do you sometimes have to forego your freshly homemade green juice for producing good work on that particular day? You bet your bippy.
Is getting where we want to go sometimes uncomfortable? It can be, especially if it’s somewhere we haven’t been before.
But squeezing our goals so hard that we give ourselves anxiety attacks from the pressure of it all is totally optional — and actually possibly not even particularly productive.
Not taking good care of yourself in the name of hitting a goal just for the goal’s sake is absolutely insane.
Working harder and harder for more and more hours without intentionally choosing actions that produce results is asinine.
As I listened to Scott talk about the possibility of growing a business by focusing on efficiency and cutting out the activities that don’t net the results we’re looking for, my shoulders relaxed.
As he waxed eloquent about the power of outsourcing, focusing on the most important, not necessarily the most urgent, tasks first, and having clear boundaries, my soul breathed a sigh of relief.
Go for what you want. Go for it with gusto.
But remember that white-knuckling it and suffering for the sake of achievement is absolutely optional.
How you do it is what you get.
When you make it to the podium, get the gig, win the award, or cash the check, it will feel better if you made the process part of the prize.
And remember, making more money, growing your business, or expanding in any way you desire doesn’t necessarily mean working harder.
You want 3 concrete steps to help you stop making it so freaking hard? Here you go:
1. Get clear on what you want (and perhaps more importantly, why you want it).
2. Choose the activities necessary to get you there without spending a lot of time and energy on extraneous stuff that doesn’t net results.
3. Enjoy the heck out of making it happen.
Then you can smile with the delicious satisfaction of not only having reached your goal, but also of having had a damn good time along the way.
This is what I shall be doing over the next 10 weeks as I grow my business with ease and pleasure.
Do you have a goal that could benefit from you loosening your grip a bit?
How do you make sure that you enjoy the journey while reaching for a goal?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
P.S. Speaking of things not having to be so freaking hard, my mom, Dr. Christiane Northrup, is teaching a fabulous course called Lightening the Mother Load: Healing Strategies for Daughters starting May 9th. In honor of Mother’s Day and the mother-daughter relationship often being one of the most challenging in our entire lives, she’s teaching a course to give you some practical ways to infuse your relationship with your mother with more ease. Interested? Click to find out more and register.